NASA Selects Northrop Grumman to Build Earth Science Instrument
The cost-plus-award fee, incentive fee contract has a maximum value of $44.5 million over 10 years. Northrop Grumman's Aerospace Systems Sector will perform the work at its facility in Redondo Beach.
The CERES instruments are broadband radiometers that scan Earth, observing reflected shortwave and Earth-emitted radiance. These observations are used to measure the time and space distributions of incoming energy from the Sun and outgoing thermal and reflected energy from Earth (known as Earth's radiation budget). The measurements aid in the development of a quantitative understanding of the links between the radiation budget and the properties of the atmosphere and surface that define it, and improve models of Earth's climate system.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is funding the development of the CERES Flight Model 6 under a reimbursable agreement with NASA. It will fly on the National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System, or NPOESS, C1 mission. NPOESS is a multi-agency program to develop the next generation of polar-orbiting operational environmental satellites that form the basis for weather forecasting, and is co-funded by NOAA and the Department of Defense with NASA as a technology provider. The NPOESS program is managed by the interagency Integrated Program Office.
CERES Flight Model 5 is scheduled for flight on the NPOESS Preparatory Project mission that NASA is implementing in partnership with the NPOESS IPO. Earlier CERES Flight Models are currently flying on NASA's Earth Observing System satellites. This succession of CERES instruments enables the long time series of Earth radiation budget data that is essential to understanding climate change.
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